Top Stories

  • FDA approves injectable diabetes drug from Glaxo

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it approved a new injectable drug from GlaxoSmithKline plc for adults with Type 2 diabetes. The agency cleared the company's drug, Tanzeum, to help patients control their blood sugar levels, in combination with diet and exercise. Glaxo's new drug is part of the GLP-1 agonist class of drugs, which includes two other popular injected diabetes drugs, Byetta and Bydureon. GLP-1 is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. More than 25 million Americans and 33 million people in Europe have Type 2 diabetes, which impairs production or use of insulin to break down food into energy. That causes blood sugar to rise, putting them at risk of heart and other

  • Ga. alters state employee health insurance program

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Department of Community Health announced Tuesday that it is looking to increase the number of companies participating in the State Health Benefit Plan and will offer more coverage options for state employees, including HMOs, beginning next year. Department officials said they offered invitations to companies to increase the number of providers administering the insurance plan. Teachers and retirees have protested changes the department made last year, saying they limited their options and raised costs. Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order requiring the department of health to include a teacher in the invitation for proposals process.

  • Court upholds EPA emission standards

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's first emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins. The EPA's determination in 2000 that regulating emission standards is appropriate and necessary, and the agency's reaffirmation of that determination in 2012, "are amply supported by EPA's findings regarding the health effects of mercury exposure," said the court. Congress did not specify what types or levels of public health ri

  • Wendy Davis schedules neck surgery in Fort Worth

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is scheduled to undergo neck surgery to relieve pain in her shoulder and right arm. Spokesman Zac Petkanas said Tuesday that doctors will remove bone spurs and degenerative discs that are creating compression on the nerves in her neck. The procedure is scheduled for Wednesday in Fort Worth. Petkanas described the procedure as routine. He said Davis will return to a normal campaign schedule following the Easter holiday. Davis campaigned Tuesday in Dallas, where she criticized Republican opponent Greg Abbott and his prekindergarten plan at a meeting of retired Texas teachers.

  • Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — It's not just tax day. Tuesday also is the two-week extension deadline to sign up for health coverage through California's insurance exchange. Consumers who were unable to create an account or fill out an application because of technical problems on the Covered California website have until midnight Tuesday to secure a health insurance policy and avoid a tax penalty. The agency offered the extension after its systems were overwhelmed by the number of people trying to sign up before last month's enrollment deadline under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The exchange was experiencing "periodic slowdowns" on the website but no outages were reported as of Tuesday around noon, according to

  • Tobacco cos. make payments under state settlement

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The nation's top cigarette makers said Tuesday they have made about $6 billion in annual payments as part of a longstanding settlement in which some companies are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. Under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, participating tobacco companies agreed to make billions in payments to 46 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia over more than two decades. States first received full payments under the settlement in 1999. It was estimated that the companies would pay up to $246 billion over 25 years. Future annual payments also will continue in perpetuity.

  • DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer is facing pushback from more than a dozen patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women's health: the Pap smear. The new test from Roche uses DNA to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While such technology has been available for years, Roche now wants the FDA to approve its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, bypassing the decades-old Pap test.

  • $32 million budget fix sent to Maine governor

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday that fixes a $32 million gap in the state budget next fiscal year and moves hundreds of developmentally disabled residents off waitlists for Medicaid services like home-based care. The budget overwhelmingly approved by both chambers, which are controlled by Democrats, includes $5 million for nursing homes and another $5 million to slash the waitlists. It's expected to provide services for more than 400 people on one list but just a couple dozen on another list that has roughly 900 people, according to the Office of Fiscal and Program Review. While small in funding compared to past budgets, the bill will bring great benefits to people greatly in

  • Report: Maine will see shortage of health workers

    Updated: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A state report says Maine is likely to suffer a shortage of health care professionals in the coming decades unless more students enroll in Maine medical schools and the industry recruits more workers from out of state. The state Department of Labor's Center for Workforce Research and Information report says the shortage will be especially severe in dentistry and psychology. The department issued the report this week. The report states that two-third of practitioners in dentistry and psychology are more than 50 years old. It also says nearly half of the state's pharmacists, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses are more than 50.

  • Residents, guests enjoy Easter open house at Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    An Easter hat parade and a visit from the Easter Bunny were among festivities at Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond.

  • Once-conjoined twins to leave Dallas hospital

    By The Associated Press | Published: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The parents, Dave and Jenni Ezell, discovered the twins they were expecting were conjoined last year, when Jenni Ezell was 17 weeks pregnant. The couple, who now live in Dallas, lived in Oklahoma at the time, and said their doctor there gave them little hope the babies would survive.

  • Musical hallucinations teach Oklahoma researchers about MS pathways

    By Greg Elwell, For The Oklahoman | Published: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Researchers at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation are studying how music affects multiple sclerosis patients.

  • Depression risks increase for young dads

    Published: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Becoming a dad can be emotionally tough for any guy, but especially for young, first-time fathers. A new study finds that the first five years of parenthood — key attachment and bonding years for a child — may be the riskiest for young dads when it comes to developing depression, according to USA TODAY. Symptoms of depression increased on average by 68% over the first five years of fatherhood for men who were around 25 years old when they became fathers and lived with their children, according to the study published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

  • HeartLine aims to connect people to help and hope 24 hours a day

    BY ALEX STROHM, For The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    HeartLine answers 2-1-1 calls in central and western Oklahoma, and the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa answers in eastern Oklahoma.

  • IT landscape changing for sharing Oklahoma patient medical records

    By Paula Burkes, Business Writer | Updated: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    While the last of federal stimulus money was spent last month to help build Oklahoma’s infrastructure for sharing electronic medical records, private competition is heating up between a Tulsa-based network and a new one based in Norman.

  • What's it like: To be treated in a hyperbaric chamber

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    Inside a hyerbaric chamber, the patient breathes only pure oxygen. This increases the rate oxygen is spread through the rest of the body.

  • Oklahoma addiction specialist offers tips for recovery

    BY WARREN VIETH, Oklahoma Watch | Published: Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    Hal Vorse, a former pediatrician, has dedicated the second half of his medical career to helping people wean themselves off highly addictive opiate painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone so they can go back to leading productive lives.

  • OKC sixth-grader, dad create app they hope will help mobilize responders

    By Sarah Hussain, Staff Writer | Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    An app created by and Oklahoma City student and her father employs power of social network technology to bypass communication bottlenecks that occur during scenario to improve response time to those closest to scenario.

  • Yukon, Oklahoma, woman saluted for volunteer work

    By Robert Morris,, For The Oklahoman | Published: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Juanita Attebury won a Salute to Senior Service award from a senior care organization

  • Beeping eggs signal hunting time for blind children in Oklahoma City

    By Carla Hinton, Religion Editor | Published: Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    New Hope United Methodist Church is planning an Easter egg hunt for blind children April 19 in Oklahoma City.